Number of Piracy and Armed Robbery Incidents on Ocean Vessels Increased in 2015 - Global Trade Magazine
  February 8th, 2016 | Written by

Number of Piracy and Armed Robbery Incidents on Ocean Vessels Increased in 2015

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  • The role of ReCAAP ISC includes exchanging information among contracting parties on piracy and armed robbery incidents.
  • ReCAAP is the first regional agreement to promote cooperation against piracy and armed robbery in Asia.
  • 60 percent of piracy and armed robbery incidents on vessels occurred while underway.
  • Over half the 2015 incidents of piracy and armed robbery on vessels occurred in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

A total of 200 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships–comprising 187 actual incidents and 13 attempted incidents–were reported to the ReCAAP Information Sharing Center (ISC) in 2015. Of these, 11 were acts of piracy and 189 were incidents of armed robbery against ships.

Compared to 2014, there has been a seven-percent increase in the total number of incidents that occurred in 2015.

Incidents reported in 2015 have been less severe comparing to 2014, however, with fewer incidents involving more than nine perpetrators, fewer cases involving perpetrators who were armed; and fewer incidents with reports that crew was threatened, held hostage and assaulted.

The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) was established under the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) agreement. The roles of ReCAAP ISC include exchanging information among contracting parties on incidents of piracy and armed robbery and supporting capacity building efforts of contracting parties. ReCAAP is the first regional government-to-government agreement to promote cooperation against piracy and armed robbery in Asia. To date, 20 States have become contracting parties to ReCAAP.

Of the 200 incidents, 60 percent incidents occurred on board ships while underway, and 40 percent on board ships while at anchor or in berth. More than 50 percent of the total number of incidents reported in 2015 occurred in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) on board ships while underway. A total of 104 incidents were reported there. However, no actual incident had been reported in the straits since November 2015, probably as a result of an increase in patrolling and surveillance carried out by the littoral states who also arrested perpetrators responsible for some of the incidents.

While the situation at most ports and anchorages in Asia has improved in 2015 compared to 2014, Vietnam reported an increase in number of incidents, particularly at the Vung Tau port with 60 percent of the total number of incidents in Vietnam occurring there.

Twelve incidents involving hijacking of tankers for theft of oil cargo were reported in 2015, of which two incidents were foiled by the authorities. No incidents involving hijacking of tankers had been reported since September 2015, possibly due to the arrests of the masterminds and perpetrators responsible for some of the incidents reported in 2015.

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